The dreaded international break – it’s not so bad after all!

international breakLike most Evertonians, I hate the international break.

The England team stopped meaning anything to me many years ago The reality is, I never really forgave England for continually overlooking Martin Dobson, Bob Latchford and Dave Thomas in the 1970’s. This continued into the 1980’s when one of Englands greatest sides still struggled with relevant international recognition. Peter Reid with only 13 caps? the same amount as Tom Cleverley and one less than Sammy Lee (let that sink in for a moment).

This time however it’s different. I welcomed a break from the Saturday and Sunday evening feelings we have got used to this season. Back to reality next week, but in the meantime as a distraction i’m sharing a few things I noticed during the international break.

Tim Cahill still has it!

I write this after seeing his 49th and 50th goals for Australia which saw then beat Syria to qualify for a world cup play off – He will be 38 in December. When he left the club five years ago it was seen by most that he was on the decline, did we let him go too soon? I doubt it but he’s shown he’s a winner and what would we give to have him playing for us now?

A players value can increase when he doesn’t play

It’s also true how much a player can improve by not playing. A year ago I distinctly remember Bolasie being heavily criticised yet in some parts he’s now our saviour. Don’t forget he cost £27 million before the prices went stupid this summer. When he returns he will be a world beater. Maybe?

Credits in the bank

In my opinion there isn’t a player in Evertons squad this season who has done himself justice. In fact most have been well below par and many very poor. Some players though have enough credit saved over the years to help them through the lean times. Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka have deserved their relative freedom from heavy criticism. Leighton is nowhere near the player he was and Phil is well past his best. I have to spare a thought however for Ashley Williams, Cuco Martina and Davy Klaassen who seem to be bearing the brunt of the blame at the moment. They are blues and until they aren’t they deserve our support. With Ashley I believe you don’t become a poor player overnight and even though he may not be the player we were promised. Drop him by all means but I think his confidence is shot.

When things aren’t going well, we need a sign

With our poor start to the season, focus has also turned to Ronald Koemans demeanour, hardly mentioned last season. We are all aware of Koemans faults but do we need to see him bouncing up and down the line like a madman at every opportunity. Maybe he should make his players do a big celebration when they draw at home to West Brom? I don’t remember Harry Catterick bouncing up and down the line, but then I am being pedantic. I just want the team to win and find it very noticeable that when things aren’t going well, people start to pick.

The next month is crucial

It’s not rocket science but games against Brighton, Arsenal, Leicester and Watford become very important in determining what our league focus will be for the season. Will it be up, or down? When things are going well you can see us winning, but at the moment? Following Watford is the game against Crystal Palace and if they are still looking for their first win, then we all know what comes next. Two games against Lyon followed by Chelsea in the Europa League and League Cup respectively will decide whether our season could come down to a bad FA Cup draw in December. It doesn’t look good for either competition at the moment and even a home draw against a lower team in the FA Cup means nothing if you don’t win it as we proved last season.

The fans are shafted again

Finally… it seems the football authorities have found a way to further shaft the fans. Like many, I was expecting Evertons game at Brighton to be shown on TV on Sunday. No! it seems that Our game has been moved to 1.30pm Sunday to be shown live in… India. Apparently Derby v Forests’ early kick off is not enough for Indian tastes and they need a premier league game. Step in the Premier League. They already had Newcastles trip to Southampton at a massive 327 miles on TV already but at least they had a 4pm kick off. So maybe Swansea v Huddersfield at 251 miles would inconvenience fans? No, let’s try Brighton v Everton at 271 miles for a 1.30 pm kick off. Genius. The best away fans in the world will make sure it’s sold out but it’s another reason football has itself sold out to the sound of the pound.

Onwards and upwards! COYB’s!

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Paul Chaloner

Paul Chaloner was born less than a mile from Goodison Park in 1962. He retired to Spain where he follows Everton from afar. He went to his first Everton match in 1970 (5-2 v chelsea), sold cushions in the stands throughout the 1970s until they were abandoned in the early 1980s and continued to watch the blues until relatively recently before going to live in Spain. He has three sons, all blues!

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